Coronavirus immunity certificates would be 'dangerous and unnecessary', says health expert

04 Avril, 2020, 03:27 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Matt Hancock blows his nose

On Thursday, the Cabinet minister pledged England would hit 100,000 tests per day by the end of the month, following widespread criticism of the Government's testing strategy. Biomedical scientists across the United Kingdom have already been re-trained to carry out testing or free up virology-trained staff to focus on testing.

Mr Hancock said it is "frustrating" the first antibody tests to undergo testing have not worked, but more are coming, with many produced in China and some domestically.

He said: "It is, without doubt, a spectacular and nearly unbelievable feat of work in every sense, from its speed of construction - in just nine days as we've heard - to its size and the skills of those who have created it". France has carried out even fewer tests than the United Kingdom, and Spain tried to bridge supply chain issues by buying millions of test kits from China that later had to be withdrawn after giving flawed results. It has allowed labs to be aligned to standard diagnostic criteria and to use the same test kits, reagents and equipment from the same suppliers, allowing bulk purchases from single suppliers at a competitive price. "We're doing it regional locally, people forming and forging partnership arrangements, looking for support from universities and commercial companies".

Hancock is said to be continuing with social distancing measures to make sure that he does not contract the virus again. We don't know yet whether somebody who has had this virus is immune. Downing Street had confirmed that Johnson was still showing signs of the disease.

"But we continue to search for one [and] we are putting the orders in so should they work we can get them in the United Kingdom".

United Kingdom ministers believe the antibody test could be a "game-changer" and have pre-ordered millions, however they are yet to pass regulatory testing.

The tests are created to detect whether a person has developed antibodies to the COVID-19 virus.

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Gerard Krause, the epidemiologist leading the project, told the magazine that people who are immune "could be given a type of vaccination card that, for example, allows them to be exempted" from "restrictions on their work".

Speaking to BBC Radio's 4's Today programme about Covid-19 testing and ventilator supply on Friday, Mr Hancock said: "I constantly look to see what more we can do from now on in".

"On the G7 call earlier it was clear that no G7 country has found a home antibody test that works", Hancock said.

Health bosses have warned that the high-risk operations could be scrapped entirely within days as the NHS prepares for a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Earlier this week, the Government announced that 30 new ventilators would be supplied to hospitals next week, although it is thought the NHS needs at least 30,000 devices to cope with peak demand.

It comes as the John Hopkins University in the United States, which is tracking the global picture, said COVID-19 cases have now passed one million across the world.


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